WhatsApp Starts Rolling Out Voice Messaging
WhatsApp is a mobile messaging application that receives 300 million monthly active users. WhatsApp users can send text messages and photos. WhatsApp users send 11 billion messages and receives 20 billion messages per day. This is up from 27 billion total in June. WhatsApp users are sharing 325 million photos per day too, according to WhatsApp co-founder and chief executive officer Jan Koum.
WhatsApp is rolling out voice messaging for all platforms starting today, including the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Nokia. The voice messaging feature was Koum’s “pet project” over the last six months. The voice messaging feature in the app is controlled by pushing the record message. If the user decides not to send it, they can swipe to the left and tap on delete. “The number of taps matters. People want to send a message and be on their way,” added Koum.
There is no time limit for the time spent recording and the volume switches from speaker when held at arm’s length to soft when holding it up to the ear. There is a blue microphone illustration that shows up when a message has been played.
WhatsApp users that will be able to really benefit from voice messaging is people whose languages can be harder to type. For example, Koum said that he talks to many people in Russian. Texting with them back and forth is hard because the Russian alphabet has 33 letters. Once voice messaging is rolled out, the WhatsApp team will create “media-focused” products. WhatsApp recently went free on iOS for the first year with a $0.99 per year charge after that.
Koum is not a fan of ads at all and one of the reasons why is because of the tragic train derailment that took place in Spain last month. A woman in the incident was able to text her husband where she was buried in rubble. “Can you imagine if that woman had to watch an ad before she wrote to her husband?” stated Koum.